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Classic Cheesy Chili Mac

Classic Cheesy Chili Mac
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The combination of cheesy noodles and meat is a dinner many of us grew up on and are still fond of enjoying as grown adults. With this recipe for Classic Cheesy Chili Mac, you can make a delicious homemade version of that childhood favorite. The whole family will go crazy for the flavors in this dish, made with hearty ingredients like ground turkey (or beef), tomatoes, chili beans, Cheddar cheese and more. Cozy up to this chili mac recipe and you'll be more than pleased with the results!


Preparation Time15 min

Cooking Time35 min


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno chopped (optional)
  • 1 (14-1/2-ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes, juice reserved
  • 1 (14-1/2-ounce) can chili beans, juice reserved
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
  • For the Macaroni and Cheese:
  • 2 cups dried macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt


  1. In a large skillet cook combine ground turkey, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, kosher salt and garlic powder. Cook until meat is browned. Strain.

  2. In the same skillet heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions, garlic and jalapeno. Cook 5 minutes. Return meat to the pan, stir in tomatoes and chili beans. If mixture appears dry add in reserved tomato and bean juices. Season with remaining cumin, chili powder and hot sauce if using. Reduce heat to low and simmer while you prepare the macaroni and cheese.

  3. To prepare the macaroni and cheese bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Strain.

  4. In the same pan you cooked the noodles in, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted whisk in flour, cook 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk. Stir in cheeses and cook until melted. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt. Return noodles to pan and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir and season to taste with seasoning salt.

  5. Add the macaroni to the chili and mix well. Adjust seasoning if needed. Serve.

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